The Cardiac Cowboys were back in full force on Saturday. On a weird night in Lubbock, Texas, Oklahoma State prevailed after missing two field goals and throwing a pick six to win 41-34. Mason Rudolph led the game winning drive and played a great game, throwing for 376 yards and 3 touchdowns, along with 2 rushing touchdowns. Justice Hill set career highs in both carries (30) and yards (164) in the game, providing much needed balance to the offense. The defense for the most part held a high-powered Red Raider offense in check, getting the stops needed to win the game. Jordan Brailford had the key play of the game with an interception on a screen play.
For the second week in a row, I am going with a defensive player. This week’s unsung hero is Ramon Richards. I think it has been vastly understated how good he has been at the safety position. After being a feast or famine type of player at corner for three years, he moved to play back with Tre Flowers at safety. So far, it has worked. He’s been great in pass coverage playing “centerfield,” which helps out the corners.
What has been the most pleasant surprise about Richards has been his ability to come downhill and make a play. He has been one of the best open-field tacklers on the team this season. His football IQ and ability to diagnose plays has been key for the defense this season.
Others around the country took notice as well:
Ramon Richards blows up WR screens better than any safety I've seen #OKState— Scott Wright (@ScottWrightOK) October 1, 2017
Ramon Richards really flashing as an aggressive downhill tackler tonight. Oklahoma State safety. Couple big tackles tonight— Jon Ledyard (@LedyardNFLDraft) October 1, 2017
Most impressive thing I've noticed in #okstate game so far has been sharp tackling by Ramon Richards. Must have practiced it this week.— Tim Griffin (@TimGriffinBig12) October 1, 2017
Ramon Richards moving to safety was one of the big questions marks on the defense coming into the season. The move has panned out so far, and he and Flowers have been key cogs to a secondary that is very young on the outside. Their leadership and game experience will be important to the development and growth of the cornerbacks this season. Richards is one of the leaders on the defense, and his teammates will continue to feed off of his energy and play if it continues this season.